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MY RUSSIAN ROOTS ARE CALLING..STROGANOFF..WELL KIND OF..

I have always been intrigued with Stroganoff recipes.  I could not begin to tell you why.  As far as I can recall, I have never even tasted Stroganoff. There are many recipe variations of Stroganoff out there.   Most recipes call for sour cream, which can easily be replaced with yogurt, or SCD cream.  Traditionally served over egg noodles, (I have never seen gluten free egg noodles before)  – I opted for steamed potatoes.  I guess I could have attempted my pasta recipe…but honestly, I was just was not up for that kind of work out!  Stroganoff is often used with tenderloin, or beef strip steak…which I did not have.  Beef stew it was!

Continuing this story, recently, I finished reading a novel called Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  Stunning story, heart rendering too as it involved WW II and Stalin’s reign over Russia.  I love fiction novels that involve real life history, or real life events that are portrayed as a fictional story.

I began thinking about Stroganoff, and a long, long ago memory came to mind. Apparently, my mother’s great grandmother was a Russian Gypsy.  My mom, does not look the typical Danish Scandinavian…(she also does not look like her siblings, who look very Danish – this is a compliment!), she did have the blue eyes, but her hair was jet black, curly, down to her waist, and she was very petite. She actually did look like a gypsy.

The other odd thing is, growing up, when my siblings and I participated in Halloween, dressing up, every year, (until I stopped participating at age 10), all I wanted to dress up as… you guessed it, a gypsy.  My mom used to say, don’t you want to dress up as something else?  I distinctly remember telling her, no, no, this is who I have to be.  Every, single year.

The gypsy blood is in my soul and I believe Stroganoff must be in my blood…I have no other explanation.

Wish I had some green cabbage, I would have steamed the cabbage, with a dab of butter and salt and pepper to serve along side this wonderful dish.  By the way, I also found some wonderful inspiration from this great recipe here.

1 1/2 lbs. hormone free/antibiotic free beef stew

olive oil

1 onion, quartered, then sliced

6 large cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 tblsp. bacon renderings (or more olive oil)

4 large minced garlic cloves

1 glass of red wine

4 large Tblsp. tomato paste

2 cups beef broth

1 large Bay leaf

1-2 large sprigs of fresh Thyme

pinch on ground nutmeg

1 rounded tsp. Paprika

3 large carrots, sliced into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces

3/4 cup SCD cream or regular cream

Heat up a dutch oven on medium heat with a few drizzles of olive oil.  Season the beef stew with salt and pepper then add to the pan, not overcrowding, browning in portions.  Then remove to a bowl and set aside.

To the pan, add the bacon renderings.  Add in the slice mushrooms, turning the heat down to low medium.  Saute until golden then add in the slice onions, salt and pepper.

Continue to saute until the onions are translucent.  Add in the minced garlic, stirring until fragrant.  Add in the bay leaf, thyme, nutmeg, and paprika, stirring to combine.  Pour in the glass of red wine, scraping up any brown bits, and simmer about 3-5 minutes.

To the pan, add in the tomato paste, beef stock, carrots, stirring to combine.

Bring to a simmer, lid on and turn down the temperature to minimum – a low, low simmer.  Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Thirty minutes before the Stroganoff is ready, steam enough potatoes to serve four.  Remove the lid from the Stroganoff, check for seasonings, remove the bay leaf and thyme stem, and remove from the heat.

Stir in the SCD cream melting to combine and serve hot over steamed potatoes.

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